Ebb and Flow, stop and go. ebooks.

We all work within various projects, systems and work arenas that have either natural or adapted ebb and flow. Our days start (generally) around the same time. Our correspondences take on a cadence and tempo that, whether they are working well for us or not,  become what we know to be natural or at least the norm . Then there are jarring moments. These moments are mostly colored in a shade of out-of-the-blue. Sudden can be good. It can be what we need to get our minds around the matter in a new way. Suddenness can  breathe some life back into a stagnant system.

In my world, I was earnestly focusing on learning more about the world of ebook delivery through public libraries. So many matters involved: evolving my own expectations with clunky parameters (DRM), growing an e-collection that was enticing and within budget, coordinating to help get my colleagues trained to know more about how to make the flow of ebooks easier to the public–setting them more free to the world. Lots of work went into that . Lots of time, learning, relearning, communications (emails! about efiles!) and some  roadblocks and victories along the way. Enter the  Overdrive letter about Harper Collins (at the time “unnamed publisher”) changing their check-out allowances. The carpet we were carefully stitching was  pulled t right out from us– our Nooks and iPads clinging to our chests as February came to a close. That was a shift.

I know this didn’t bloom over night. I’m sure of that. However it felt as if it came down like that.  There were folks in on figuring this out…advocating for the library user, right? At least responses from the companies say that.  But where are those folks now? Who were they? Who are they (not counting the blog commenters, here).  Did they at least receive some vendor swag for sitting in on a conversation about this?  I’m surely not the only one wondering: were you one of the librarians who sat in on the discussions with HarperCollins before the big announcement? Tell me, how did that conversation ebb and flow?

In less thatn 4 months, through our focus to create more easeful ebook deliver, we  increased usage by  almost 70%.  That 70%– where will it go, how will it grow now? An ebbing question that lingers.

There were many craggy moments but we knew where they were. Beyond that there were the few days from February 24 to March 7 to start a new rhythm. And  still with only an emailed letter, the ebb and flow shifted. Some think for better.Some think for ultimate doom, it seems. Whatever comes from this, a new wave was thrown in during  a time of earnest work, causing confusion, some anger and some thoughts of just throwing it all out by people across the library community.

How has the letter changed your ebb and flow? Processes, productivity?

I’m still figuring that out… ebbing back to flow forward.

I know there is much of this going on. How interesting that such and out-of-the blue, seemingly informative and somewhat celebratory letter, can change the coarse of thinking and spiritedness about a matter.

How has your ebb, flow or zest for ebooks changed? Within your system? Within yourself?

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6 Responses to “Ebb and Flow, stop and go. ebooks.”


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